It is widely known that people who undergo traditional cancer therapies such as radiation and chemotherapy, can benefit from medical cannabis. Not only does cannabis reduce the side effects of these powerful treatments, but it can also address the anxiety and depression that often accompanies a life-threatening diagnosis. Additionally, nausea can be reduced, allowing patients to eat and maintain their weight. Bone pain, abdominal pain, and even phantom pain (pain that feels like it’s coming from a body part that’s no longer there) have all been improved with medical cannabis. But what about actually treating cancer itself?
Almost two years ago I experienced my first big “wow” moment regarding medical cannabis when a patient of mine who had suffered for 50 years from daily seizures completely stopped having them after starting treatment with CBD oil. Over the next year, he was able to wean off two of the three seizure medications he had been taking. The third medication is now being reduced. When I documented this amazing case, I noted to myself that it would be hard to imagine a better outcome. Unless perhaps a patient’s cancer was eliminated by medical cannabis.
Fast forward to Spring 2018 when I began treating a 92-year-old woman who had a relapse of her breast cancer and was told by her oncologists that at her age they were unwilling to start treatment again. She came to Wholistic Releaf hoping to stop the cancer’s growth while also improving her quality of life for however long she had left. As her follow-up appointment in the Fall approached, we received a radiology report stating there was no more evidence of cancer in either breast!
I have had several patients tell me that their cancer stopped growing since they began using medical cannabis. One even reported that an ultrasound showed his tumor had enlarged when he had to stop taking cannabis temporarily. It shrunk back down once he resumed cannabis.
How can this be?
Remarkable research is being conducted in Israel to study the use of cannabis in treating tumors. Scientists have determined certain strains of cannabis can target specific types of cancer. They are building a database that matches specific strains of cannabis to the various DNA of cancer cells.
While we are years away from having this all figured out, I look forward to the future and helping more patients with cancer.
David Berger, MD has been successfully treating patients with medical cannabis since 2016 and is currently accepting new patients. For more information on medical cannabis in the Tampa Bay area, visit the Wholistic ReLeaf website here. To read other blogs written by Dr. David on medical cannabis, click here.